Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe has led criticism against U.S. military spending on biofuels.
A recent “Green Fleet” Navy exercise, the Republican lawmaker charged, was an expensive waste of money and a publicity stunt for President Obama’s environmental agenda. And in May, he pushed a provision preventing the Pentagon from buying alternative fuels if they were more expensive than petroleum fuels.
But while he’s criticized such spending on biofuels, Inhofe helped secure $10 million in military funding to test such fuels, Reuters reports:
More than half of those earmarked funds, $5.95 million, went to a company in his home state of Oklahoma.
Tulsa’s Syntroleum has used federal funds to “test and develop” renewable fuels, Reuters’ reporter Marcus Stern reports. The company received $5.95 million in Pentagon contracts thanks to Inhofe earmarks in defense-spending bills in 2002, 2004 and 2005, Reuters reports. And in 2006, the company received an Air Force contract for $2.3 million for 104,000 gallons of fuel. “That equals about $22 a gallon,” Stern writes.
Part of Inhofe’s “outrage” over the Navy’s Green Fleet demonstration was the $26-per-gallon fuel. Reuters:
But in criticizing the “Green Fleet” project, Inhofe, it turns out, was opposing a program that benefited the very same Oklahoma renewable fuels company to which he had steered millions in funding. A Syntroleum joint venture was the fuel supplier to “Green Fleet.”
The difference, Infhofe says, is where the funding comes from. According to Reuters, Inhofe says the Syntroleum funding came from the “research and development account,” while money for the Green Fleet demonstration came from the Navy’s “operations and maintenance account.”